Our client has an EMC Symmetrix 3500 and there is a server that does not have HDDs on it which boots straight from the box. The problem is they have to boot in NTFS and the box seems not to support booting in NTFS but allows it to boot in FAT.

I think the SAN gateway can solve our problem if connected between the box and all the servers that are all using SCSI connection with the box.

Please send me information on how to solve this using the Pathlight SAN gateway.

Thank you.


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I'm sorry, but this question is more along the lines of something you should take to a customer support organization from EMC, the server manufacturer, Microsoft or the gateway manufacturer. It's not exactly a general or architectural sort of question - it has a definite product specific feel. Also, the information you gave is incomplete and there are more questions than answers about what you are trying to work with.

That said, I will try to help the best I can. The server hardware platform and device driver configuration, determine the boot process. After the hardware post completes, the machine loads storage device drivers and looks for a boot record on any available and configured disk devices - and when it finds one, it reads it and loads the bootstrap program.

The bootstrap program knows where to look on disk for the OS. The OS and file system files are stored within the file system. The file system layout, or what I refer to as the data structure of the file system is independent of the storage hardware configuration. In other words, the disk controller and disks in the storage subsystem has no preconceived notion of FAT or NTFS data structures. The storage subsystem only works with block I/O commands (SCSI CDBs [command descriptor blocks]).

It is possible to place a storage network device like a Fibre Channel switch or hub between a server and its storage. You could also place a FC/SCSI bridge between a SAN and parallel SCSI equipment. If so, you need to verify that the boot process would be able to work through that bridge, or as you say, a gateway.

If you are having problems with NTFS and FAT, I doubt that a gateway would help much, but I might be wrong. I am not aware of any gateways that provide a translation between the two different data structures used for FAT and NTFS.

Regards,
Marc Farley


This was first published in May 2001

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